Days Gone By - stories from the past

The people of Skyline Farms were seeking a better life in Jackson County [film & old photographs] some people considered it socialism

Skyline Farms was one of 43 similar projects to assist and relocate farmers devastated by the Great Depression in a new home with a more secure future. Before and after photographs were taken of the federal experiment in 1934. The projects were stopped after many people, particularly politicians in Washington D. C. considered them socialist programs.

Skyline Farms was a program established by the federal government in Jackson County, Alabama in 1934 as a socioeconomic experiment through the Federal Emergency Relief Agency for farmers affected by the Great Depression.

Since it was in located in the south, Skyline Farms was established for whites only in Jackson County, Alabama. Another similar project named Gee’s Bend Farms was established for African American farm families in Wilcox County, Alabama.

Many in Congress saw the program as very close to socialism and fought against it.

It was part of a “back to the land” movement, popular in the United States in the early 20th century when there was concern that too many people were leaving the family farms and moving to the city.

Resettled farmer in Jackson county at SkylineFarms making furniture

Resetled farmer in Jackson County, Alabama making furniture

These amazing photographs tell the real story of the people. Many in Congress saw the program as very close to socialism and fought against it.

Wife and children of the resettled farmer

Wife and children of the resettled farmer


It is hard to determine the man’s age in the photograph below, but he appears young. The photograph only stated that he was a man making roof shingles on Skyline Farms.  The relocated farmers worked on the new buildings and houses.

Cutting wood for shingles in Jackson County, Alabama


The photograph below was labeled, wife of a sharecropper resettled on Skyline Farms. She appears very young. Notice the newspaper that was used during the depression as insulation to keep out the cold. This was evidently her house before resettlement.

Wife of a sharecropper who was resettled on Skyline farms


The photograph was labeled, men clearing stumps on Skyline Farms. These were probably two of the relocated farmers.

Clearing land of stumps on Skyline Farms


This photograph was labeled son of sharecropper to be relocated on Skyline Farms. It looks like he stepped on something and injured his foot.  Many children did not have shoes, even in winter.

Skyline Farms - Son of Sharecropper to be resettled on Skyline Farms (notice bandaged foot)


This is the sawmill used ad Skyline Farms to build the houses.

Skyline farms - Sawmill at Skyline farms

Children of a resettlement farmer making furniture (above) on Skyline Farms. Two appear to be twins.

Children of Resettlement farmer Skyline farms


More photographs of Skyline Farms

See more books by Donna R Causey

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)

Alabama Footprints – Exploration is a collection of lost and forgotten stories about the people who discovered and initially settled in Alabama.

Some stories include:

  • The true story of the first Mardi Gras in America and where it took place
  • The Mississippi Bubble Burst – how it affected the settlers
  • Did you know that many people devoted to the Crown settled in Alabama –
  • Sophia McGillivray- what she did when she was nine months pregnant
  • Alabama had its first Interstate in the early days of settlement

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1) (Paperback)
See larger image

Additional Images:Img - 1503276007
Img - 1503276007

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. […] in the area.  Another resettlement program in Alabama was for whites only called Skyline Farms.    All the photographs from Skyline Farms on this website can be found by typing Skyline Farms in […]

  2. My dad was the man singing and playing guitar,in skyline farms band, in 1938 they went to Washington DC to play music for President,he later played Ashville nc music fest Bascom Lungsford who wrote the old song good ol mountain Dew,he played on same show with Red Foley,Archie Campbell,Ernest Tubbs.

  3. My grandfather Harvey Talkington is in some of these old pics . He ran the rock store for years and cut hair out of it as well . I was told he helped a lot of family’s giving out credit when he couldn’t afford it himself but they say he’d say we all gota eat ! He died in 1976 I’m not sure of his age his wide cordie (big momma)died I think in 74 and she was almost 3/4 Cherokee they had two sons Charles (my dad) and Harry which are both still living .

  4. Ms. Causey I am the secretary for the Skyline Farms Heritage Association. If you would like more photos and information you can check out our Facebook page or you can visit us at the Rock Store by appointment by messaging us on our page or by contacting me at the above email. If you would like more accurate and in depth information on the Skyline Farms Project you should contact and interview Dr. David Campbell (President of Northeast Alabama Community College) or Dr. Caroll Vann West (Professor at MTSU), or Mrs. Joyce M. Kennamer (Retire history teacher and daughter of the father of Skyline Farms) all of which are on Facebook.

  5. My mother’s family, the Deans, lived in Alabama and sharecropped. They lived in Cullman county but a little section called “Dean Town”, and “The Colony” where black folks sharcropped with them, after her father left them, my grandmother with 9 children to raise, off to Michigan with another woman. He sent for the milk cow to sell, which was the only source of nurishment for the baby, joe. They lost everything, no one helped. My ma was a bit older, middle child, and when grandma Dean(crauswell) had a mental break down, she and another sister had to take care of the younger kids and chase after my grandmother too. The older sisters married and moved but not far away. We are still in Cullman area.

  6. […] Skyline farms band, in the picture above,Walter Holt to the left, and Chester Allen on the right, the Skyline farms band performed for The President in Washington DC in 1938, they were the first band to do this kind of music, and song and the square team also took to the stage on the white house lawn with them. […]

  7. The twins: age 4
    My aunt Halloween Doggett Smith , Guntersville, Al
    Also my mom Ivaline Doggett King More, still living age 84 in Guntersville, Al

    Age: 10
    My uncle Bernard Doggett still living age 90

  8. I think USA needs to do it again and teach unemployed young people in blighted city ghettos REAL WORK

    1. AMEN

  9. My Thames family lived and worked on the commune called Escambia Farms in northwest Florida that president FDR set up in the thirties. We were all sharecroppers around that area extending far into southern Alabama and in Florida. It was a godsend to those poor folks who worked the red clay ground for the land owners who usually cheated them when the end of the year came and time to “settle up” Usually, the sharecroppers were illiterate or grateful to have any job or income in those hard times so it was easy to cheat them out of a fair wage. The last time my daddy sharecropped in Coffee County, Alabama he was given only $6.00 for a whole years work. That was 1953 and he was illiterate. He left the area and got a job at one of the textile mills in Columbus, Georgia. Sharecroppers were overjoyed to get a chance to live on the government farms and be more independent of the rotten capitalist system that held them in penniless bondage. Many of the land owners also felt that they had a right to accost the women of the tenants for their own pleasure. Sometimes that worked and sometimes not. That was removed when they were chosen to live at Escambia Farms where there was a government store that gave the tenants a fair deal and a governing body for deciding the rules. Growing up as a sharecropper’s son who lived in abject poverty made me forever a socialist and believer that capitalism is an unfair predator system.

  10. […] Administration development in Tennessee. (Click to see more images, film and the story of Skyline Farms in Jackson County, Alabama and Gee’s Bend in Wilcox County, […]

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